Friday, June 01, 2007

New Jack City

I. Farmer Jack, once Metro Detroit’s most powerful supermarket chain, is folding. Most of its 66 remaining stores are being sold to Kroger, some will go independent, and some will be dozed.

II. Mr. Bush's Iraq War has displaced roughly two million refugees so far, many fleeing to neighboring countries in the Middle East such as Syria. Soon, though, federally approved refugees will be moving to Metro Detroit -- somewhere between 3,500 and 7,000 Iraqis, mostly Arabs. Kurds will resettle mostly in Nashville, Tennessee, already the home-in-exile for a substantial Kurdish population. Most Americans know Jack Squat about Kurds, Arabs, Persians, Chaldeans, Sunnis and Shiites, or anything in between -- regardless, facts are facts. With the Turkish Army (aka Johnny Turk) massing on the northern Iraqi border, expect to hear more about the Kurds.

III. Jack Kevorkian, now 79, was released from prison today. He is suffering from hepatitis contracted during the Vietnam War – something to do with Vietnam vets and blood transfusions. His crime? Assisted suicide. That’s the reason he’s known as “Dr. Death.” While I’m not existentially opposed to suicide (for other people, that is), official sanctioning of euthanasia seems creepy, too fraught with peril (i.e. its use by the Nazis to purge “undesirables,” various imagined science fiction dystopias, etc.).

Today’s Rune: Defense.

Birthdays: Jacques Marquette, Carl von Clausewitz, Nelson Riddle, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., Andy Griffith, Marilyn Monroe (b. Norma Jeane Mortenson), Brian Cox, Ron Wood, David Berkowitz, Larisa Lazutina, Heidi Klum, Alanis Morissette, Veronika Vařeková.



Sheila said...

hmmmm.... I guess it's not a good time for Jack's eh?

Bubs said...

Thanks for bringing the refugee situation to my attention. I didn't realize the figures were that high.


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm surprised it's not more, actually. I figured Iraq would be second only to Mexico in providing an influx of immigrants.

the walking man said...

A few thousand more Arabic speakers certainly can't hurt Detroit's empty housing stock. If they would settle with in the city and not the already Arab, refugee's need refuge.

I met Kevorkian once, he still had his white VW microbus that was his chamber on wheels. I was managing the Oakland Mall Sears auto center. It was a Sunday and i was the only manager working so while they tested and replaced his battery he and I had about thirty minutes to talk about how and why his position on self asked for by sane people euthanasia came about.

He is very eloquent in expressing his ideas and the reasons of them and they mostly had to do with compassion for the terminally ill or them who had a quality of life that his "patients" considered to be crap.

He first formed the thoughts of assisting in suicide while on a trip to Scandinavia where it is also not legal; but doctors will over prescribe a what eventually turns out to be a killer dose of a drug that will put a terminal patient to sleep and they just will not wake from it thus ending their misery.

He went from that knowledge to what he did to where he is at now. Euthanasia for humans is a tough question. Yet so can years of suffering from a condition that is ultimately fatal.

I do not condemn the practice of relief from pain, especially after seeing what 13 rounds of chemo did to my mother, but it was her choice made between her and her doctor when enough was enough and two weeks later she died in her sleep, she had been given only one shot of morphine during that two weeks and I didn't administer it or it would have been a hot shot because she suffered enough.

She chose the time of her passing and she went with a single dose given by my very Christian sister when it was asked for from the kit provided by the hospice people. she died in her sleep.

I didn't at the time teat Kevorkian like a star and wasn't awestruck by his peculiar fame, like some in the shop were but I understood him then and after my mother's experience i do believe he started his fight out of a sense of compassion.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all for the comments! Walking Man (Mark), very interesting insights. Sorry about your mother. I agree with you on an individual basis. Isn't the morphine overdose called "snowing"? I knew a Korean War vet, Marine artillery, almost deaf, whose wife gave him the final dose to put him out of pain from lung cancer (never smoked a day in his life). He weighed about the same as Tammy Faye near the end and could barely breathe. I understood.

Also, refugees from a war the USA launched do need refuge in the USA (it's only fitting) and yes, it would be good for Detroit to have more people within the city proper. Up until now, the Bush people have blocked it despite their ownnership of the disaster.

Erik Donald France said...

p.s. The guy's name was Jack, weirdly enough.

Anonymous said...

wow. the farmer jack's thing surprises me.

dr k's paintings are intense.

farmer jack kevorkian.